Shampoo Bars - The Best Alternative To Chemical Infused Shampoos

Have you heard of the “no-poo” method?

Don’t get me wrong! I mean NO-shamPOO.

No-shampoo practice requires you to forgo shampooing your hair, in favor of using natural, no chemical methods to wash.

While it sounds great to get rid of the nasty ingredients in shampoos, it can be a tricky road without knowing the best alternatives.

Don’t fret! We are here to help.

Why you should stop using shampoos?

Largely saying, there are two main reasons 

  • Harmful ingredients

Water and harsh detergents make up most of a commercial shampoo’s formulation, with moisturizing emollients and natural extracts often adding up to a meager 1 percent.

  • Creates natural-oil imbalance

Conventional shampoos strip the scalp of its natural oils, that is critical to protect scalp and hair. When these natural oils are regularly stripped, our oil glands try to make up for it by producing even more oil, thus leaving our hair feeling greasy and in need of more often washes.

So, what is the best alternative to commercial shampoo?

While there are many alternatives like soap nuts, baking soda, clay, honey, dry shampoo, the most popular among them is the shampoo bar.

Think of shampoo bars as solid shampoo or a bar meant for hair, without toxins like SLS, PEG, pesticide and preservatives, well most of the time. They are meant for all types of hair and often contain oils like shea, cocoa and avocado oil, that known to improve hair health and provide nourishment.

There is often a transition period when you switch from chemical laden shampoos to natural shampoo bars. Different people experience differently during the transition period.

As you begin using shampoo bars, your hair and scalp may initially become oily or dry or keep switching between the two poles. You may experience more frizz, unmanageable hair with slight buildup around the hair shaft. Your hair has a way of saying it that it has forgotten how to perform its own job.

You will be tempted to go south, and start using conventional shampoos again. But remember, that this is just a short period to help your hair re-learn and long-term health is more important than temporary looks.

This transitional period can last for just a week and up to a few weeks. It really depends on how damaged your hair is, how frequently you used harmful products and sometimes you can just blame it on your genetics.

What are the benefits?

There’s been mixed reviews about these bars, but it really just depends on what shampoo bar you use.

Use natural shampoo bars with healthy oils and no chemicals like Satliva, to experience following benefits.

  • Contain all-natural ingredients.
  • Help you regain softness and natural sheen
  • Natural ingredients improve volume and hair shaft strength.
  • Tend to lather better than all-natural liquid shampoos.
  • Don't contain added preservatives. Having said that, they can go rancid over time and thus have a limited shelf life.
  • Convenient to carry and use while traveling.
  • Last a long time, in comparison to liquid shampoo or conventional shampoo, and less expensive.

What you should be looking for?

While most of these solid bars of shampoo are made with natural ingredients sans the harsh chemicals, there are some exceptions.

It might be a little overwhelming at first, but you just need to read the ingredients carefully and steer clear of harmful ingredients in the shampoo bars. 

Here are some of the facts to be aware of when buying the shampoo bars 

  • Cold-pressed:  The soaps using fixed oil with alkali to achieve saponification, are the best gentle shampoo bars, rich in nourishing fats (like oils and butters) and are often chemical free. These soaps generally have a limited shelf life as they do not use any preservatives.
  • Surfactant: Soap containing a surfactant will often provide the most lather, because surfactants are a compound of detergents which cause bubbling or foaming (aka lather). Common surfactant soaps often contain SLS or sodium laureth sulphate (SLES). SLS/SLES can help remove the dirt, oil, and bacteria hair, but cause dry, itchy and irritated scalp and are therefore recommended to use with a conditioner. SLS/ SLES have been linked to increase health risks and should be one of the first things to be wary of when buying a shampoo bar.
  • Perfumes and dyes: While it makes your shampoo bar look and smell pretty, these chemicals pose serious health hazards. Look for shampoo that use essential oils for exhilarating smell without any artificial colors. It is easy to miss out on these sneaky ingredients as they are often not disclosed under the name of “trade secret”, so keep your eyes open. 


All in all, natural shampoos like hemp-based Satliva shampoo bars with Argan oil, not only get you away from the health risks of synthetic shampoo, but they also help your hair to return to a naturally soft, hydrated and healthy state.

Written by Namrata Kothari, Upword Media.